« PoprzedniaDalej »
not in some places required, and in others, where real difficulties exist, they have been omitted altogether that references to more authorities should have been added on some particular subjects, or were not necessary upon others. To these and such objections (of the reasonableness of which I cannot but be too sensible) I have only to offer the answer, if answer it may be, that no one can know exactly all that is, or is not, required either by way of explanation, or selection; and that I humbly trust that these volumes, as a whole, will not be found to be entirely useless.
There is much, very much, in the succeeding pages, and in another work which will be published with them, involving doctrines of the highest importance, and opening questions over and over again debated between the various branches of the Catholic Church. To have passed all these by without remark would have been surely blameable: to have entered into them at any length, or with the pretence of exactness in the detail, would have been impossible within the space which my limits could allow. I have therefore been obliged rather to seem to lay down decisions, where reasons might have been demanded; and to give results and determinations instead of the arguments by
which they ought to be arrived at. In the Preface to the Ancient Liturgies, this, I fear, will be more evident than even in the present work: but let me in all honesty, yet humbly, assure the reader, that on whatever subject I have ventured so to speak, it has only been after much consideration, and careful inquiry; and with the earnest and sincere desire to promote the Truth, as it has always been held by the One Holy Catholic Church of Christ. Upon another point, it must be also said, I have been very anxious: namely, whilst I have not wished to shrink from the expression of a plain opinion in any case which might seem to call for it, I have striven to avoid harsh and unkind words towards others, and to keep within the reasonable bounds of Christian controversy. I have endeavoured to remember that they whose judgements are different from my own, may be far more competent than myself to argue upon many matters, on which I have nevertheless not hesitated to speak undoubtingly my belief; first, because it seemed not right to be silent, and secondly, because I was satisfied that I was but uttering the doctrine of the Church of England, in which I am a priest.
And in this place also it is incumbent upon me to discharge a most welcome duty: the
acknowledgement of my best thanks to all who have given me assistance towards the completion of the object which I have had in view. Particularly, to his Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, for permission to examine the manuscripts, and for the offer of the loan of some rare printed volumes, in the Lambeth library : -to my diocesan, the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Salisbury, for permission to make extracts from the most valuable manuscript, the "Registrum S. Osmundi," among the muniments of the see:-to the very reverend the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury, for the loan of a transcript of the same MS. :—to the very reverend the Dean and Chapter of Bangor, for the loan of the "Bangor Pontifical:”—to the very reverend the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, for permission to examine the manuscripts in their cathedral library, and to make extracts from them; and for the loan of the "Ordinale of Bishop Grandisson :-to the University of Cambridge for the loan of four manuscripts; viz. the two Pontificals of the churches of Salisbury and Winchester, the "Order of Consecrating Nuns," and the "Prymer in English:" -to the President and Fellows of St. John's
College, Oxford, for the loan of their copy of the Hereford Missal:-to the Master and Fel
lows of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, for the loan of a most noble manuscript of the "Prymer in English:"--to the Rev. Dr. Rock, of Buckland, Berkshire, for the loan of some rare works of ritualists, in his library, and for some very valuable information which I have acknowledged below in its proper place :-to the Rev. Dr. Bandinel, for a most excellent and careful list of the copies of the English service books which are preserved in the Bodleian library, and which I had at one time intended to give with a catalogue also of two or three other collections, as an appendix to the present work: -to the Rev. Dr. Todd, for a list of the service books in the library of Trinity College, Dublin; and to the Rev. Thomas Cradock, for a similar list of those in "Primate Marsh's library" in the same city:-to the Rev. Dr. Oliver of Exeter, and to Pitman Jones, Esq. of Heavitree, for transcripts of some important documents relating to the diocese of Exeter :and, remembering the constant kindness and unremitting attention which I have received from them, I offer my most grateful thanks to the reverend and learned Librarians of the Bodleian, the Cambridge University, the Museum, and the Lambeth libraries: by whose endeavours to supply, if possible, my wants, and to
answer my very frequent and troublesome applications; and by whose readiness to assist my search among the inestimable treasures under their charge, I have chiefly been enabled to offer the reader the amount of information which, whether much or little, these volumes will be found to contain.
Lastly and especially am I bound to bless and praise Him, Who by His most gracious gifts of health and time, has suffered me to finish so far the work which I undertook; of Him, and to Him, on such an occasion as the present, my words spoken ought to be both careful and few.
Broadleaze, near Devizes.